Standhardinger bucks exhaustion to boost Gilas in SEA Games 2017
KUALA, LUMPUR, Malaysia – Christian Standhardinger appeared determined to deliver for Gilas Pilipinas despite his exhaustion as he helped the Philippines to an 81-74 escape of Thailand on Sunday, August 20 during the 2017 Southeast Asian Games men's basketball tournament at the MABA Stadium here.
The Fil-German big man arrived here from Beirut, Lebanon two days ago but promptly joined training to understand the system and quirks of this new lineup. Barely a week ago he had been playing with a different Gilas squad.
"It feels a little rusty and a little tired. That’s okay, there’s no excuse," the 28-year-old said, before rueing missing key free throws down the stretch.
"I should have made my free throws, more free throws. So important. This is one thing I’m not satisifed with. But everything else I knew I gave my best. I’m very happy that it was enough to pull a victory."
Standhardinger, who was vital for the Gilas frontline in the FIBA Asia Cup, was a workhorse as he put up 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and a 50% clip from the free throw line. He also had 10 rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block. He even made the crucial two-pointer that kept the Thais at bay with 47 seconds remaining.
Teammate Kiefer Ravena commended Standhardinger for his effort and persistence but noted that the center definitely looked fatigued, which affected his free throws.
"Si Christian kasi, bilib din ako sa tao na yun e, 'yung ginawa niya ngayon. Naaawa na nga ako sa kanya sa free throw niya. Hindi na normal 'yung tira niya e. Tao rin 'yan, napapagod rin 'yan," Ravena told reporters.
"Bigay natin sa kanya na he made that crucial roll to the basket."
(I'm very impressed with Christian, with what he did today. I already felt sorry for him and his free throw shooting. It wasn't his normal shots anymore. He's human, he gets tired, too. But we have to give it to him that he made that crucial roll to the basket.)
"Well obviously I feel tired but as an athlete you learn how to play through that tiredness," Standhardinger noted. "So I feel good. Well, I feel as good as I need to feel to play the game and be, hopefully, efficient."
Gilas narrowly avoided a major bullet when they blew a 10-point lead and gave up the advantage several times to the eager Thais in the fourth quarter. Thanks in part to Thai-American star Tyler Lamb fouling out, the Philippines was able to wrest control and pull away.
Gilas will take on Myanmar on Tuesday in continuation of the group phase. – Rappler.com